Photo by Igor Laszlo
Madagascar is an Island nation in the Indian Ocean with a population of around 22 million. When Madagascar is mentioned, a lush landscape of biodiversity and unique wildlife is conjured in the imagination . When I learned I’d be writing about the WaterAid campaign to provide clean water and sanitation to thousands of children there, I called our friends Jim and Annick who had grown up and lived in Madagascar.
They describe the country as a tropical paradise, with unique cultural diversity, and as one of the most beautiful places on earth. While consistent with our perceptions of Madagascar, much of the population also lives in poverty. Jim adds that occasionally something will happen to remind you that this paradise is also one of the poorest places in the world.
This summer, let’s build something incredible… children’s futures! Be part of a unique project transforming the lives of Madagascar’s schoolchildren with taps and toilets.
Photo by Igor Laszlo
In Madagascar, the lack of taps and toilets is a big problem.
Every year, 13,000 children under five die due to water-related diseases. With half the population under 16, young people across the country are affected in many different ways.
This summer, you have an amazing opportunity to transform the lives of 12,000 children. With your help, we can reach 31 schools with over 100 toilets and 150 taps in total.
Jim also clearly remembered visiting the Morondava area of Madagascar where WaterAid will be working this summer to improve water and sanitation conditions. He remembered well because he became horribly sick after a meal there with one of the worst intestinal illnesses he can remember. As he described the geography of the area, it sits on the West Coast Canal of Mozambique where hurricane season ricochets between the coasts of Mozambique, Tanzania, and Madagascar. The topography of the region is flat, and sits by the ocean, and despite its beauty, the clean water supply becomes tainted each year with the storms, and heavy rains, causing a surge in water related illness around that time. Jim states that “You are in Paradise, but Hell is not too far away”. For a child without access to proper healthcare, an illness like the one Jim experienced can be deadly.
Morondava Beach Photo by Igor Laszlo
Over the next few weeks you can follow the story as children in Madagascar get the water and sanitation they need to keep them healthy enough to build their dreams.
Children like Perlette and Zafera.
Follow their story on Twitter #buildfutures or Donate to help the project reach their goal.
Perlette: “I want to be a doctor”
“I am 13 years old. I love school, as it is the only way to be clever. When I am older I want to be a doctor and treat sick children. I have missed school because of drinking dirty water. It may stop me from being a doctor.”
Zafera: “I want to be a midwife”
“Science and geography are my favorite lessons. When I finish my studies, I would like to be a midwife like my aunt. If we have water and toilets here, we will be more engaged in our studies.”
All summer long they will be posting real-time updates on the two girls, the progress of the construction with a celebration on Sept. 19 when kids return to schools with taps and toilets for the first time. Check out the plans!
Please join me on an incredible journey. I’ll be bringing you stories and pictures from Tsimahavaobe school in Morondava, so you too can see the amazing transformation.- Ernest Randriarimalala, WaterAid Madagascar
I wrote this post as part of The Global Team of 200, a highly specialized group of members of Mom Bloggers for Social Good that concentrates on issues involving women and girls, children, world hunger and maternal health.
Our Motto: Individually we are all-powerful. Together we can change the world. We believe in the power of collective action to help others and believe in ourselves to make this world a better place for our children and the world’s children.